No. 135: A Little Paint and a Lot of Prayer

It’s easy to overuse “iconic” when discussing American steel, but if it fits, use it. And the word certainly fits here. Ford Motor Co. held on to prewar car and truck designs in its hurry to answer pent-up public demand for any kind of transportation following World War II. But even as plants in DearbornContinue reading “No. 135: A Little Paint and a Lot of Prayer”

No. 134. A Long Dinner Break

When the Maverick finally breathed its last, Ford promptly trotted out its replacement. The Granada was built from 1975 to 1982. In all, more than 2 million Granadas clogged the American roadways — each, surely, driven by an old lady with blue rinse in her hair. This car? Great Aunt Myrtle, according to our correspondent,Continue reading “No. 134. A Long Dinner Break”

No. 133: “Sven, I Think We’ve Come to a Stop.”

“Sven,” of course, is a Swedish name – appropriate for this sad wreck. In 1974, Volvo turned from its 140 series of cars to the 240 series. From a distance, they looked virtually the same – the same straight lines, the same boxy rider compartment. The front and rear ends were slightly different. You hadContinue reading “No. 133: “Sven, I Think We’ve Come to a Stop.””

No. 132: Go, Devil?

This quarter-ton hauler was built in Toledo, Ohio. The earliest it could have left the Jeep assembly line at the Kaiser Willys plant would have been 1946, when American manufacturers hustled to make vehicles for the civilian market. That year, Willys produced a Jeep that was a lot like the model that became famous inContinue reading “No. 132: Go, Devil?”

No. 131: Dust, Dirt, Decline

What is this? Hard to say. Time and use have removed any identifying badges that would indicate if this car rolled off an assembly line at Dearborn, Detroit, Auburn, Toledo or some other city that prided itself on auto production. It was built in the early 1930s; the slightly swept windshield post was a designContinue reading “No. 131: Dust, Dirt, Decline”

No. 130: Tapped Out, Mined Out, Abandoned

Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold Colson — “Tex” to his intimates — recently took a blue highway* tour of parts of California and Nevada. As always, he brought along his camera. His patient wife, Deborah, said nothing – Tex didn’t mention anything in his dispatches, anyway – as her husband pulled off the road to photograph another wreck. AndContinue reading “No. 130: Tapped Out, Mined Out, Abandoned”

No. 129: Angling for a New Life

The Model T was a hit in Great Britain. The public snatched up the cars just as avidly as their cousins across the pond. But when the Model A debuted, in 1928, Brits didn’t get as excited. That led, ultimately, to Ford Motor Company’s decision to create a new line of cars for the BritishContinue reading “No. 129: Angling for a New Life”

No. 128: No Power, No Worries!

The Rover. Most people see that name and think of the nearly indestructible 4-wheel drive vehicles that have bounced over every continent on earth. But the badge also came attached to other vehicles. This is a Rover P5, most likely a ’68. The first appeared in 1958; the last, in 1973. It was a bulbousContinue reading “No. 128: No Power, No Worries!”

Agrarian Edition No. 10: Power No More

If you didn’t recognize the beat of its four-cylinder heart, didn’t know the bellow from its steel throat, surely you knew its badge: art, meeting agriculture. It was a Fordson. The name came from Henry Ford and Son, shortened to Fordson. The tractors prowled the planet — plowed it, too. From African plains to AlabamaContinue reading “Agrarian Edition No. 10: Power No More”